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Helping Your Children Survive the Changes and Stress of Divorce

Most parents recognize that they are not the only ones hurting during divorce. Children, who once had a whole family, living under one roof, must now split their time between two homes and two parents. This, in and of itself, can be stressful, but many also assume responsibility for the dissolution of a marriage, or blame one or both of their parents. When paired with the upending of their lives, this can lead to problems with depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues at home and/or school. However, parents can help children survive divorce and better adjust in the months and years after by avoiding some of the most common divorce mistakes. 

Be Willing to Take an Honest Look at Your Own Behavior

When going through the emotional stress of a divorce, it can be difficult to take an objective look at your behavior, but unless you are willing to do so, you will never really be able to determine if there is, in fact, a problem with the way you are reacting to your child or your spouse. So, regardless of how you are feeling, be willing to at least try and take a step back to examine your behavior. If you need help from a therapist or a close, trusted family member or friend, seek it out. This can help you be better equipped to help your child in the weeks, months, and even years following a divorce.

Look for Signs of Common Parenting Mistakes Made During Divorce

It can be easy to find yourself caught up in emotions, to fly off the handle at your ex while making arrangements for next week's visitation, mutter underhanded comments when your child tells you what they did at the other parent's house, or blow up at your child because you are stressed about the details of your divorce or angry with your ex. However, these actions and behaviors are some of the most common mistakes that parents make after divorce. They can cause the child to feel even more stress, increase stress and anxiety about the divorce, and leave the child feeling as though they have to choose one parent over the other. Watch out for these behaviors, avoid them at all costs, and if you do make a mistake, apologize to your child promptly. Remember: your child still loves both parents, even if you no longer love each other.

Avoid Conflict Whenever Possible

According to studies, it is conflict that affects children after divorce, not so much the divorce itself. As such, parents should avoid conflict as much as possible. Do not talk about details of the divorce in front of your children and stay away from hot button topics and details about one another's lives when doing exchanges for visitation or at family events. If contact is just too volatile and you cannot seem to remain calm when talking to your ex, consider parallel parenting tactics that minimize contact between parents.

Get Skilled Legal Assistance with Your Child-Related Needs

No matter what kind of divorce you are facing - be it one full of contention or fairly amicable - it is critical that you seek skilled legal assistance when handling child-related matters, such as allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, and child support. This can ensure that you are not only planning for your family's needs today, but that you have the knowledge and power to make well-informed decisions about your family's future. Furthermore, an attorney can help you understand your rights as a parent and advocate for the best interest of your child throughout the entire process.

At The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. we understand the sensitive nature of parenting matters in divorce. We approach every case with personalized, attentive care to ensure you get the quality representation you need. Protect your rights and the future of your children by scheduling a confidential consultation with our Wheaton, Illinois divorce lawyers today. Call us at 630-462-9500.

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/02/26/effects-of-divorce-on-children_n_9319830.html

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227618429_Children's_Adjustment_Following_Divorce_Risk_and_Resilience_Perspectives

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Wheaton, IL 60189

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